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After Jonathan EdwardsThe Courses of the New England Theology$
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Oliver D. Crisp and Douglas A. Sweeney

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199756292

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756292.001.0001

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A Different Kind of Calvinism? Edwardsianism Compared with Older Forms of Reformed Thought

A Different Kind of Calvinism? Edwardsianism Compared with Older Forms of Reformed Thought

Chapter:
(p.91) 6 A Different Kind of Calvinism? Edwardsianism Compared with Older Forms of Reformed Thought
Source:
After Jonathan Edwards
Author(s):

Paul Helm

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756292.003.0007

Edwards’s theological significance is partly due to how he combined the theological conservatism of his inherited Reformed Orthodoxy (largely but not entirely, in its English Puritan expression) and a “modern” outlook, that of the world of Locke and Newton. Scholastic methods were largely abandoned in favour of Lockean psychology and Newtonian physics. This is particularly apparent in issues of freedom and determinism, Edwards’s occasionalism, and his approach to the Trinity. Comparisons are drawn between Edwards and both continental (e.g., Calvin, Turretin) and Anglophone Reformed orthodoxy (Charnock, Owen). This chapter explores how this plays out in the conceptuality and methodology of his philosophical theology, and its effect (if any) on matters of theological substance. A “control” is offered by briefly comparing Edwards and his English contemporary John Gill, whose work (some of which Edwards was acquainted with) remains indebted to many of the features of the older conceptuality.

Keywords:   Reformed Orthodoxy, Jonathan Edwards, philosophical theology, John Gill, Puritan theology

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